Before we introduce this week’s MOAM, we wanted to remind those millennials who live in the DC-Maryland-Virginia that this Thursday, we are hosting our third and final #SummerSocial event at BlackFinn AmeriPub DC. Click here to learn more about the event, and how you can RSVP!.
This week’s Millennial On A Mission is a self-starter who ultimately wants to help his fellow millennials get employed. Clinchr is an app that connects millennials to job recruiters with video profiles that contain one-minute elevator pitches, their skills and interests. While he’s faced is own personal obstacles, he has not let them hold him back from from achieving his dreams.
Meet Vernon Howard.
Hailing from Rochester, New York, Vernon attended Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) where he studied computer information systems. Currently, Vernon works in global finance, but also has a background in app development. However, his main focus is his start-up, Clinchr, of which he is co-founder and CEO.
MOAM: What inspired you to pursue your choice of career? Who are some individuals you admire in and out of your field of work? What challenges have you faced in building your business/brand, and what have you learned from them?
VH: What inspired me to create Clinchr was the number of friends who would contact me to assist them in their job search. Millennials represent 40% of the nation’s unemployment rate, and 4 in 5 millennials graduate without a job. With Clinchr, I not only want to help my fellow millennials find new opportunities, but use their social media skills to make themselves stand out to potential employers.
The two people I admire most are Elon Musk and Kanye West. Elon Musk is a visionary in the technology and like myself, doesn’t take “no: for an answer. He also started from humble beginnings, and is constantly pushing the envelope on what is possible. Kanye West, aside from being one of my favorite artists, is one of the most creative spirits of our generation. I appreciate how he can tap into his own creativity and encourage others to be creative as well.
The biggest challenge that I have faced thus far with Clinchr is letting my voice be heard. In the world of tech, there aren’t many black founders, but I hope to fill that void. My co-founder and I have entirely bootstrapped our application to completion up to this point, which is also a challenge, but we have learned so much from this process.
To Vernon, a Millennial On A Mission is someone who not only wants to change their own lives, but influence others directly and indirectly. “I want to inspire the younger generation, especially those inner city youth who may think achieving their dream is impossible,” he says. “I love sharing my story of how I got to where I am: about all the failing grades, poor decisions, and even failing out of community college. Each of these moments has made me who I am, and allowed me to move even closer to my dreams.” His advice to his millennial peers? “You only have a limited time here on Earth, and if you aren’t willing to risk that to follow your own dream you aren’t living.”